Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rio Grande

We're starting by backtracking.

Not quite a year ago, a group of eight friends and I went on what would be an abnormal spring break for a many college kids.  One that didn't consist of crushing beers and getting sunburned on a warm beach.

What we did was a 33 mile float down the Rio Grande, through the Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend National Park.  Flew into El Paso and rented cars.  Drove five hours to Terlingua, got to Far Flung Outdoor Center.

It was dark when we got there, so we set up our tents in the parking lot.  In the chill of the next morning, we rented four canoes and hit the road.

We got to the put in and and 6 of us navigated some slight rapids.  The other two took the rental cars to the take out, a ranch right past the edge of the national park, owned by a thirty year USMC veteran, Fred.  Never got the man's last name.... quite a character.  Fred shuttled the two guys who drove back up river and our journey began.

That first day was the start of one of the coolest experiences of my life.  The thrill of the unexplored (at least I had never explored it) and the unknown made it so.  Being right on the edge of our most violent, desolate national border also made it so.  We were initially pretty unnerved at the relative ease Mexicans and Americans alike crossed the river into the neighboring country.

I don't want to overwhelm you with text.  But what followed was great times.  Tortillas.  Fried Spam.  Cowboy Coffee.  Tequilla.  Cliff diving.  Sneaking into Mexico.  It really was great.

I'll try and show it.

Floating's a whole lot easier than backpacking

View down from Mexico

We took out at Fred's a few days later, and camped on his land near La Linda.  It was by far one of the coolest things I've ever done.  But I was damn glad to get a shower after that week. 

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